Steamed Mussels (白酒煮青口 – Bak jup ju chang hau)


Steamed mussels

Adapted from David Lebovitz. When we took a day trip to Cannes from Nice, France a few years ago, we chose a patio spot at a restaurant near the main strip close to the water. One of the dishes we had was moules a la mariniere and it was delicious.  I don’t keep shallots around in the house as I rarely use it and when it’s just the two of us, things can go unused for weeks on end. So this recipe includes ginger and green onions conducive to Chinese seafood cooking, where these aromatics help get rid of any fishiness in seafood. 

Serves 2


  • 2lb mussels (I used local Mediterranean mussels)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 1 large green onion, chopped (or 3 shallots, finely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Pinch of salt


  • Soak the mussels in a bowl of salt water (1tsp to 3 cups water) for an hour to allow them to expel the sand. Pour it gently into the sink and fill the sink with water. Gently scrub the mussels with a pad and pull out the beard. Discard ones with cracked shells. Rinse a few more times.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the ginger, garlic, salt and stir until fragrant. Add the green onions and stir until wilted.
  • Pour in the wine and bring to a boil.
  • Add in the mussels and stir a few times to coat. Cover and let it steam for 5min until the mussels open, stirring once midway.
  • Stir in the parsley and serve with salad, rice, and the remaining wine! Eat only the opened ones.


  • For a Chinese version, use 1/2 cup shao shing wine with 1/2 cup water. Add 2-3 chopped chilli, if desired. Use oil instead of butter. Refer to Noob Cook.